Jay-Z and Beyonce have earned some heat for their recent fifth wedding anniversary trip to Cuba, but up until this point they have been silent about the controversy. That changed on April 11 when Jay-Z released a song called “Open Letter” in which he addressed the vacation and seemed to imply that he talked to President Barack Obama about it.
“I done turned Havana into Atlanta,” Jay-Z rapped. “Boy from the hood, but got White House clearance.”
He continued, “Politicians never did s**t for me except lie to me, distort history, wanna give me jail time and a fine. Fine, let me commit a real crime. … Obama said, ‘Chill you gonna get me impeached.’ You don’t need this s**t anyway, chill with me on the beach.'” You can listen to the full song below.
A reporter brought the lyrics up to Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, at a White House meeting. Carney denied that Obama had spoken with Jay-Z like the rap suggested.
“It’s a song. The president’s not communicating with Jay-Z over this trip,” Carney said. “I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury. The White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s … travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles.”
Following the trip’s backlash, the U.S. Treasury Department did confirm that it approved Jay-Z and Beyonce’s travel plans as an “education exchange trip” organized by an outside group. The Treasury said it was unaware that the couple would be on the vacation because the department’s policy doesn’t require the trip’s organizers to provide passenger names.